As trusted Orlando worthless check lawyers, we know that there are countless occasions on which an individual may write a check in payment of goods or services, not knowing that the check was "bad" or bank funds insufficient to cover the check. There may have been an emergency situation in which you had to write a worthless check to keep the power on. Although this is bad judgment, it does happen. Banking errors happen as well, leaving innocent people believing they have the money in their accounts to cover the checks they write. Whatever the situation, it is critical that you speak with a talented and capable criminal defense attorney before you decide to take on any criminal charges on your own.
Florida Statute 832 makes it a criminal offense to pass bad checks. If you are charged with writing a worthless check or checks and found guilty, you may face harsh penalties which include jail time - and a criminal record. In Florida, a charge of writing a bad check may result in a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the amount of the check written and whether goods or services were received in exchange for the fraudulent payment.
When a worthless or bad check is written with the intent of being dishonest or malicious, it is important to have a defense attorney in your corner. Some individuals may purposely attempt to defraud Medicare, credit card companies, and write worthless checks in conjunction with these offenses. Regardless of whether you innocently wrote a bad check, or did so for malicious or fraudulent purposes, we will develop the most effective defense strategy for your unique situation.Defenses to Charges of Worthless Checks in Florida
In any criminal case, the state must prove specific elements in order for a defendant to be found guilty. Many Orlando worthless check defense lawyers will use this to their advantage in developing a defense, if the prosecutor has a tough time proving one or more elements. There are many defenses to worthless check charges, which may include:
It may also be possible to prove lack of knowledge, that you wrote a bad check out of desperation, or other facts.Criminal Penalties for Worthless Check Conviction in Orlando & Central Florida
Depending on whether the worthless check was written for less than $150, or for $150 or more, penalties include:
First degree misdemeanor worthless check (less than $150) - up to one year in jail, possible 12 months probation, maximum fines of $1,000.
Third degree felony worthless check ($150 or more) - up to five years in prison along with fines of up to $5,000.
Stopping payment on a check or writing a worthless check in order to commit fraud is serious; it is also important to note that bad checks written in conjunction with other criminal offenses may result even harsher penalties.Contact Adams & Luka Today
At Adams & Luka, we understand that it is easy to write a worthless check completely out of innocence - but we also know that there are cases in which an individual does so purposely, in an unlawful manner. Everyone makes mistakes, and we are all human. If you are facing charges of writing a worthless or "bad" check, contact our office now at (407) 872-0307 or (352) 787-2101 for a free consultation and outstanding legal guidance and representation.